Great Talks at the American Philosophical Society explores some of the most interesting lectures given at Society meetings throughout the years. Each episode dives deep into a diverse array of themes to reveal the relevance of these talks to the pressing issues of today.
Science “knows not party politics”: The Life of Dr. Hosack02/11/2020 Duração: 47min
Politics in the early republic, like today, was bitterly partisan, but in 1811, one of the nation’s most renowned doctors David Hosack took the position that science “knows not party politics.” Hosack lived according to this motto. On hand at the infamous duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1804, he was the beloved Hamilton family doctor and a close friend of Burr. On this episode, Dr. Patrick Spero talks with Dr. Victoria Johnson on her Pulitzer Prize finalist book American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic.Dr. Victoria Johnson is Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City, where she teaches on the history of philanthropy, nonprofits, and New York City. She holds a doctorate in sociology from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale.
Good Numbers Make a Good Democracy: Kenneth Prewitt on the Census01/04/2020 Duração: 01h20min
It’s census season in the United States and some may be asking what exactly the census is, how it’s done, why. On this episode, Dr. Patrick Spero talks with former Director of the United States Census Bureau Dr. Kenneth Prewitt about the history of the census, the various methods that census-takers use to count the population, and the challenges the census faces in this time of increasing political polarization.Dr. Kenneth Prewitt is the Carnegie Professor of Public Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs and Director of The Future of Scholarly Knowledge at Columbia University. From 1998-2001, Dr. Prewitt was the Director of the United States Census Bureau and in November 2018 he gave a talk at an APS Meeting titled, “Can the Census Be Gerrymandered?”Full Recording of Dr. Prewitt’s APS Meeting Talk, “Can the Census Be Gerrymandered?”
Helen Quinn on Doing and Teaching Science09/03/2020 Duração: 01h26min
How do we understand the things we cannot see – the tiniest building blocks that make up our physical world? And then how do we teach about them? On this episode, Dr. Patrick Spero talks with leading particle physicist Dr. Helen Quinn. They discuss the theory and research behind particle physics and how such complex science can and should be taught in K-12 curricula.Dr. Helen Quinn is Professor Emerita and Former Chair of the Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. In theoretical physics, she has made contributions to how we understand the interactions between particles and what this can teach us about matter and antimatter. After Dr. Quinn retired from Stanford, she translated her scientific expertise into leading a National Research Council study that produced a new framework for K-12 Science education.Clip on the National Accelerator Courtesy SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
Franklin, Jefferson, & America’s First Institutions05/08/2019 Duração: 01h12min
The final episode of season one of Great Talks at the APS departs slightly from the format of featuring an APS Meeting talk, instead featuring a paper appearing in a recent issue of Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. We thought it appropriate to close out the season by having a conversation about two figures who loom large in the history of the APS and in the national imagination—Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. On this episode, Dr. Patrick Spero and Dr. John Van Horne discuss Franklin, Jefferson, and their contributions to the founding and early growth of the American Philosophical Society and other Philadelphia institutions. Dr. Van Horne is Director Emeritus of the Library Company of Philadelphia. His essay, "Two Chips off the Same Block: Benjamin Franklin's Library Company and Philosophical Society and the Saga of Their 275-Year Relationship," was published in the December 2018 issue of the Proceedings. John Van Horne, [“Two Chips off the Same Block: Benjamin Franklin’s
A Long History of Climate Science15/04/2019 Duração: 01h18min
As we face the consequences of climate change, it may surprise some to learn just how long scientists—and denialists—have been talking about this problem. On this episode, Dr. Patrick Spero talks with two leading scientists and APS Members, Dr. Walter Munk and Dr. Charles Kennel, about the oceans and climate change. They explore how their interest in climate science grew out of work in oceanography (in Dr. Munk’s case going back to World War Two), reflect on the state of the oceans, climate, and what it all means for policymakers today. Dr. Walter Munk, described as the “Einstein of the oceans,” was professor emeritus of geophysics and held the Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Oceanography Chair at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. He gave a talk at the APS in April 2013 titled, “Corrigendum: Where the Swell Begins.” Dr. Charles Kennel is Distinguished Professor, Vice-Chancellor, and Director emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at th
The Paradox of the Mexico-U.S. Border22/01/2019 Duração: 48min
Why is it that at a time when Mexican migration across the Southern U.S. border is historically low, public dialogue surrounding the Mexico-U.S. borderland continues to be divisive and heated? On this episode, Dr. Patrick Spero and Dr. Douglas Massey explore the history and paradoxes of the Mexico-U.S. borderland. They delve into the decades of research that Dr. Massey and colleagues have done for the Mexican Migration Project. Ultimately, they consider what, if any, policy decisions could and should be made to resolve the limbo of undocumented workers and the increasingly bombastic rhetoric around immigration issues in the United States. Dr. Douglas Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University and an APS Member. He has been the co-Director of the Mexican Migration Project with Dr. Jorge Durand for over 35 years. Dr. Massey has published widely on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty, stratification, and Latin Am
The Life and Times of J. Robert Oppenheimer10/12/2018 Duração: 54min
Dr. Patrick Spero discusses the life and legacy of J. Robert Oppenheimer with Dr. Martin Sherwin, co-author with Kai Bird of the Pulitzer-prize winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. He is professor emeritus at Tufts University and a University Professor at George Mason University. Full recording of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s talk at the November 1945 APS Meeting: Symposium on Atomic Energy and Its Implications Article entitled “Atomic Weapons” by J. Robert Oppenheimer published in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society in 1946
Life of a Journalist02/11/2018 Duração: 51min
What does truth have to do with journalism? How has the profession evolved over the last half-century? On this episode, host Dr. Patrick Spero talks to Linda Greenhouse about these very questions. Greenhouse is an APS Member and current President of the Society. But she is also a Pulitzer-prizing winning journalist who covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times and the Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law, Senior Research Scholar in Law, and Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence at Yale University. In this interview, Dr. Spero references Greenhouse's 2013 talk at the APS Meetings (below) and her recent book, Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces in Between (Harvard University Press, 2017). Full Recording: Linda Greenhouse, “Truth in Journalism,” http://diglib.amphilsoc.org/islandora/video/truth-journalism
The Demise of “Fact” in Political Discourse26/09/2018 Duração: 45min
On the first episode of the APS podcast, host Dr. Patrick Spero interviews Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson about the attack on facts in political dialogue and what that means for governance. Dr. Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, the Walter and Leonore Director of the university’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, author of numerous books on political communication, and an APS Member. She gave a talk at the April 2013 APS meeting entitled, “Implications of the Attack on ‘Fact’ in Contemporary Politics,” the full recording is below. Dr. Spero and Dr. Jamieson delve into the themes of her 2013 presentation as well its relevance for today.